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NBA Finals Game 2 ratings increase over last year

NEW YORK – The NBA Finals rematch is drawing a higher television audience than the first go-around between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. Nielsen said Game 2 on Sunday delivered just over 15 million viewers on ABC and had a peak audience of 18,786,000 viewers from 7 to 7:30 p.m. The viewership translates to an 8.9 household rating. That is a 5 percent increase from last year’s Game 2, which drew an 8.5.

James gets Heat even with Spurs

SAN ANTONIO – No cramps, no problems for LeBron James. And with their superstar making it to the finish this time, the Miami Heat bounced back from a loss, just as they always do in the playoffs.

LeBron James scores cool 35 in Heat win

LeBron James had 35 points and 10 rebounds in a powerful comeback from the cramps that knocked him out of the opener, as the Heat tied the NBA Finals with a 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Spurs’ Tim Duncan harbors secret wish to play point guard

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs are on an unprecedented postseason roll that not even a boatload of turnovers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals could stop. They probably ruined power forward Tim Duncan’s hopes of a career change. Duncan wants to be a point guard, coach Gregg Popovich revealed Saturday, a wish that won’t be granted. But Duncan would settle for another title, and the Spurs would be halfway there by beating Miami tonight in Game 2.

Gatorade apologizes over LeBron-related tweets

SAN ANTONIO – Gatorade apologized Friday for comments posted to the company’s Twitter feed after Miami Heat star LeBron James cramped up and had to leave Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The tweets were not deleted.

Spurs’ Tony Parker is a go for Game 1 of the finals

Tony Parker’s left ankle is ready for the NBA Finals. The San Antonio point guard pronounced himself ready to go for tonight’s Game 1 of the title series against the Miami Heat, after spending much of the last few days recovering from a sprain. “I think he’ll be fine,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. Parker acknowledged that he still has some concerns about how the ankle will hold up over the course of the finals. He and Popovich both indicated in recent days that treatment has helped considerably. “I’m trying to be very positive,” Parker said. “I’m trying to do everything I can, eat healthy, get my rest, go through treatment and just trust my body.” – AP

James still appreciates Finals excitement

LeBron James should be used to the NBA Finals by now. After five trips to the championship series in eight years, it would make sense if he had a been-there, done-that attitude when stepping onto the sport’s biggest stage. He doesn’t. On Wednesday, James took a seat inside a makeshift interview area, sneaked a quick glance at the NBA Finals signage that was off to his left side, and beamed like a kid in a candy store. Just a couple of years removed from being ripped for not delivering in the moments that decide championships, James seems more comfortable in these surroundings than ever. “I’m blessed, man,” James said. “That’s all I can say.” James and the Miami Heat open these finals tonight ( 6, ABC) against the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA’s first championship-series rematch since 1998. – AP

An over the top finals

MIAMI – Over the last 10 seasons, only one NBA player has been part of more wins than LeBron James. His name is Tim Duncan.

James, Duncan square off again

Over the last 10 seasons, only one NBA player has been part of more wins than LeBron James. His name is Tim Duncan.

Twice as nice for the Heat

MIAMI — LeBron James had 37 points and 12 rebounds and the Miami Heat repeated as champions with a 95-88 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Shane Battier scored 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range for Miami. James made 5 of 10 3s, all the while hounding Spurs star Tony Parker on defense to make the Heat the first back-to-back champs since the Lakers in 2009-10.

International approach pays off

SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs have long been the NBA’s gold standard when it comes to drafting and development, preferring to roll up their sleeves and scour the globe to find the right players to slot into well-defined roles. They have more international players on their roster than any other team in the NBA, and even their American players don’t come straight from America to the league.

Heat struggled at quarters’ end

SAN ANTONIO – Until Tuesday night, the Miami Heat will be lamenting 8 bad minutes. Eight very bad minutes, actually.

Miami seeks modest win streak

SAN ANTONIO – It was the compelling story of the NBA regular season, the Miami Heat making their run at the league-record mark of 33 consecutive victories. They fell six games short.

Big 3 help Heat even NBA Finals with Spurs

SAN ANTONIO – Miami Heat owner Micky Arison had a message as he walked to the winning locker room. “The death of the Big Three was overrated,” he said.

Big Three deliver as Heat even series

Riding big performances from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat tied the NBA Finals with a 109-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night in Game 4. James had 33 points and 11 rebounds after failing to break 20 points in any of the first three games of the series, and Wade scored 32 points, 11 more than his previous high this postseason. Bosh matched his playoff high with 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, he and Wade supplying the baskets that finally put the Spurs away for good midway through the fourth quarter.

James, Wade ready to lift Heat

SAN ANTONIO – Game 4 of the NBA Finals will tell more about the Miami Heat than a 66-win regular season ever could. Any questions about LeBron James and the Heat were supposed to have been answered by now. He was too good to be taken out of games, his teammates too talented to go through long stretches where they weren’t contributing.

Miami rules second half to even series

MIAMI – Mario Chalmers marched toward midcourt with a message. “I felt like we had them on the ropes at the time. I told him, ‘Let’s go for the kill,’ ” Chalmers said. “He said, ‘I’m with you.’ ”

Heat turn it up in Game 2

Mario Chalmers led the charge, LeBron James broke out to finish it with a flurry and the Miami Heat used a 33-5 run to rout the San Antonio Spurs 103-84 on Sunday night and even the NBA Finals at one game apiece.

Spurs rally to stun Heat in Game 1 of NBA Finals

MIAMI – The San Antonio Spurs returned to the NBA Finals just the way they left – with a victory over LeBron James. Tim Duncan overcame a slow start to finish with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker banked in a desperation jumper on a broken play with 5.2 seconds left and the Spurs withstood James’ triple-double to beat the Miami Heat 92-88 on Thursday in a thrilling Game 1.